Community hospitals are the safety net providers for health care. As mission-based health care providers, community hospitals are committed to ensuring medical care is accessible to the entire community–even in the absence of financial advantage. They provide health care to the uninsured and underinsured, even if all other providers opt out. They look at community needs and find ways to meet them rather than to strategize based solely on profitability. Community hospitals have an allegiance to the cities and counties they serve and take an active role in providing care to the people who live and work there.
Georgia’s community, not-for-profit hospitals are the backbone of our state’s health. Community hospitals are mission-driven organizations that exist to benefit their communities through the quality health care they provide and special services that are vitally important but not profitable to the institution.
Some examples of these services are trauma care that assists in a devastating medical emergency; neonatal intensive care units helping newborns in very critical moments of their early lives; and caring for those who cannot afford to pay. They are also equipping the future doctors with residency education programs for medical students.
- Trauma Care
Georgia’s community, not-for-profit hospitals operate most of the state’s 21 trauma hospitals and all four Level I trauma centers. The work of these hospitals extends beyond the life-saving care they provide. They are working together to advocate for and support a statewide system for coordinating trauma services, working to ensure every Georgia resident has access to care following traumatic injury.
- Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICU) and Perinatal Care
Community, not-for-profit hospitals provide birthing support to expectant couples through perinatal and prenatal programs, working to improve health outcomes for the newborns and mothers. These hospitals are also there when new a newborn needs special medical attention. Community hospitals provide the vast majority of the state’s NICU services, care that is extremely costly but so important.
- Primary and Uncompensated Care
Community, not-for-profit hospitals provide care to everyone who needs it, regardless of a patient’s ability to pay. Much of this care is provided at a reduced cost or at no cost to the patient. These hospitals also are committed to improving the health of the community and reducing unnecessary visits to emergency rooms. They support their patients and the community with health education and prevention screening program, and many even operate primary care clinics for the un- and underinsured.
- Teaching and Residency Programs
Ninety-five percent of residency programs are housed in community hospitals. Research has shown that the majority of doctors choose to practice in the same state where they complete their residency. This is crucial to continue Georgia’s health care workforce. Additionally, it is an economic driver as an individual doctor who opens an office also employs a staff of nurses and office support.
Community hospitals provide the services that patients depend on and serve as a catalyst for growth and investment in the communities where they serve. In some communities, the community hospital is the only health care provider available. In some instances, the community hospital has remained when for-profit hospitals closed. Why? Because they are committed to improving the health of the communities they serve.
Relevance to Floyd
Floyd is invested in the communities we serve:
- Floyd Medical Center and Polk Medical Center provided $32.9 million in indigent and charity care in 2017.
- As a Level II Trauma Center, Floyd provided care to 9,072 trauma patients in 2017.
- Floyd Medical Center Neonatal Intensive Care Unit provided care to 361 babies in 2017.
- Our Family Medicine Residency Clinic provided care to 4,225 patients in 2017.
Floyd is a member of the Georgia Alliance of Community Hospitals, which works with hospitals across the state to balance the demands of caring for those who cannot afford to pay for their care while receiving less money to provide those services. The Alliance serves as a unified voice for Georgia’s mission-driven hospitals to advance policy and regulatory issues that enable hospitals to provide the best in medical care, quality, technology, training and community service.